Teaching the same course builds confidence and competence

Teaching team for MMC 2100 (Photo by Taylor Provost)

The teaching team and I met during Reading Days to debrief from this semester and plan for next semester.

I asked each of the lab instructors to share a highlight from their teaching this semester. The major theme for most of them was feeling more comfortable teaching the course. For almost everyone, this was the third or fourth semester of teaching the course. They knew the writing assignments. Even when we used a new assignment (for example, a different news story), they knew what issues arise with the assignment. They could prepare more effectively for teaching and were better prepared to answer student questions.

One of the challenges with teaching — especially for new teachers — is to have the opportunity to teach the same course several times in order to develop that level of comfort — which translates into confidence and competence. With so many courses in a curriculum, teachers may be moved into new classes almost every term. Although teaching a new class can be exciting for teachers (especially if this is a desired course by the teacher or the students), the teachers of new courses have their own learning curve.

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